Thirty percent of the world’s freshwater supply comes from the groundwater beneath our feet.
But as development paves over land so critical to maintaining the quality of our drinking water, we’re seeing the importance of protecting open space in known groundwater recharge areas.
Where there is open space, 50 percent of precipitation makes its way down through the soil. In developed areas, that is just 15 percent.
Greenbelt President Kate Bowditch, a published scientist, is an expert in the field of Conservation Hydrology which utilizes proven disciplines to guide land conservation decisions.
Protecting drinking water, quality and quantity, is an important goal for our cities and towns, and is an important priority for Greenbelt’s land conservation work.
While water resource protection has long been one of Greenbelt’s goals, we have a unique database that allows a conservation focus specifically on drinking water supplies, and aims to protect these supplies across Essex County.
Two current land conservation projects, Kamon Farm in Ipswich and Artichoke River in West Newbury, were identified with the goal of protecting drinking water quality, as well as protecting beautiful open space.
As rainfall increases and storms become more intense, open space such as the Great Marsh along the Essex County coastline soaks up ocean floodwaters before they reach dry land.
One need look no further than Houston, catastrophically flooded by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, because wetlands had been paved over as roads and housing developments, to see the danger of losing the protection open space provides.
If your group or organization wishes to see Kate’s presentation on The Role of Land Conservation in Maintaining Water Supplies, Reducing Flood Risks, and Supporting Healthy Ecosystems, please email Alexandra Letizia.
Greenbelt is grateful to several professional and staff photographers whose work is featured prominently within our website.
Thank you Jerry Monkman / ecophotography.com, Lynne Holton, Kindra Clineff, Adrian Scholes and John Raleigh.